About a month ago, I was asked to participate in a project that required me to create a new interpertation to good ole “cheesecake”.
So instead of making the regular baked cheesecake (which I LOVE), I decided to do individual cheesecakes in a jar, but instead of using cream cheese, I chose to use tangy goat cheese and to pair it with the creaminess of passion fruit curd (with some lavender notes) on top of a crunchy Kadaif noodles base. Oh and to give the whole dessert another fancy kick – I sprinkled the curd with some granulated sugar and used my burner to give it that creme brulee taste and finish.
The outcome? absolutely and utterly delicious – the tang of the goat cheese mousse went perfectly with the passion fruit curd, the lavender (which is totally optional) gave another summery boost and the crunchy kadaif base made everything a lot more interesting (and delicious).
Funny, but as complicated as this dessert may sound, it is one of the simplest yet most impressive desserts one can execute. the crunchbase doesn’t require kneading, rolling and forming, the cheese mousse involves just a handful of ingredients and utensils, and even the passionfruit curd, which is the most time consuming of them all can be made well in advance and used for so many other great things that I wouldn’t be surprised if it becomes a staple in your kitchen.
Goat cheese & Passion Fruit Cheesecakes in a Jar
Kadaif noodles* base:
- 250g dried/thawed Kadaif noodles
- 4 tbsp white sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 100g melted butter
Goat cheese mousse:
- 250 crumbled goat cheese (I prefer Chevere style goat cheese)
- 1 cup/ 250 ml heavy cream
- 3 tbsp instant vanilla pudding powder/ whipped cream stabilizer
- 3-4 tbsp powdered sugar, to taste
- pinch of salt
Passion fruit – lavender curd:
- 3 egg yolks
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 40 g/ 1 oz. unsalted butter
- 1 tsp food-grade French Lavender Flowers (optional)
- Juice from 5 large passions fruits (no seeds) – alternatively you can use 1 cup of the excellent Funkin Passion Fruit Puree
- 1 tbsp sugar to top each jar
- I use Blazer GT8000 Big Shot Butane Torch
Preheat oven to 160C/320f. Mix the noodles, melted butter, sugar and salt in a bowl. Spread on a cookie sheet and bake until golden brown. Cool to room temperature.
For the goat cheese mousse, mix the cheese, powdered sugar and salt in a bowl until combined. Whip the heavy cream and the powdered pudding until firm yet soft enough to handle (careful from over mixing!). Fold the cream into the cheese mixture. Chill until ready to assemble.
To make the curd, heat water in a small pan (no more than 2 inch /5 cm or so). Create a double boiler by placing a glass bowl over the pan with the simmering water. Add the passion fruit juice/puree, egg yolks, sugar and lavender and mix constantly until thickens (can take up to 10 min). Strain the mixture into a bowl, add the butter, mix and chill.
Layer the Kadaif noodles base in the jars. Top with the mousse and curd. Sprinkle the top of the curd with one tbsp sugar and scorch with a blow torch until the sugar caramelizes. Serve.